Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gathered Jersey Dress

Originally posted at Nap Time Crafters.

Today I have a quick/easy tutorial for you.  You can make it from materials you have on hand, and it only takes 45 minutes to complete (or less if you are more awesome than me and actually do things right the first time)!  I love quick projects that can be finished while my daughter is napping!

I'm going to show you how to turn these:

into a comfy gathered jersey dress:
(yes, my sweet little one is in a cast...if you want details you'll have to read about it here)

Who doesn't love comfy and cute?

Mens T-shirt
Baby Onesie
Measuring Tape
Yup, thats all folks!

Before you start:
 Measure the hips and length of the baby/toddler that the dress is for.  If your onesie fits well, you shouldn't need to measure the waist.  Don't forget to write them down.  I hate re-measureing.  

**Adjust the following measurements to fit your model.  My dress was for a small 10 month old.

1.  Lay your T-shirt on your cutting board so that the bottom hem is lined up.  Then cut 3 strips that are 4" wide starting from the hem so that one piece utilizes the hem from the old T-shirt.  I used XL but you could definitely get away with a smaller one.  My dress ended up very gathered.

2.  Using your sewing machine, gather the top and bottom of the two un-hemmed (now a word) strips.  Do the same for the hemmed piece, but only gather the edge without the hem.  I do this by setting my machine to its highest tension and longest thread length.

3.  Lay out your pieces and finish gathering them by pulling the bobbin threads on the top and bottom of each strip.  You want to gather the pieces until they are 3-4 inches longer than the widest part of the hips, because every little girl needs some wiggle room.

4.  Pin the top two pieces right sides together.

5.   Serge or zig-zag together using a 1/2 inch seam (no need to trim because t-shirt jersey doesn't fray).  Repeat the last two steps for the bottom skirt piece.

6.  Try the onesie on your model and mark where you want the skirt to go.  When I took it off, I drew a line around the whole thing to makes sure I pinned correctly later ( you can see it if you look really hard).

7.  Stuff your onesie inside your skirt piece so you can see how it matches up.

8.  Flip your skirt piece up over the top half of the onesie so that right sides are touching and pin it in place along the line you drew earlier.  Or wing it if you didn't feel like drawing a line.  I won't judge you. 

9.  Zig zag in place if you wish to keep the bottom half of the onesie in tact, or serge it and cut off the bottom completely!  I originally left the bottom on but think the dress lays better without it, so I ended up cutting it off.

Now you have this:

You can stop now, or take a few jersey strips...

Sew them onto the front with a little rosette...

And end up with this:

All done!

This is where she decides the grass is gross and won't put her legs down in it...for like 10 minutes.

This is when she finally started giving in...but she still thinks it's gross.

And this is complete submission.  I win.
Yes, we like to coordinate our hair accessories with our cast.  Much cuter that way.

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  1. aww, haha. I wish my little one didn't like grass, she is five months old and mobile. By which I mean, not quite a crawl but she can get from point A to point B with a little time and persistance. I know for a lot of babies grass + blanket = invisible force field... and I was hoping... but nope! lol.
    Cuuuute dress! And I like the dressing to match the cast. May as well, right? It will be in all the pictures, it may as well blend in!

  2. That is so incredibly adorable!! I'm so sad i only have boys! :(
    My kids hated grass too. my oldest would scream bloody murder whenever we put him on grass, and instantly stop when we picked him up. We had a lot of laughs with that. ;)

  3. your dress is darling....and matching the cast is the cutest way to go!

  4. She is so cute! My little girl didn't like grass when she was smaller either. Now that she's running and wearing shoes she doesn't care. ha.

    Love the shape of the skirt! What a fun version of a tiered skirt! So many possibilities. . . . .

  5. that waistband is precious!! What a cute idea.